Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Just kidding I love it here and life's good. Week two was infinitely better than week one. I'm starting to get a hang of my schedule and getting around and studying 24/7.
Here is a list of theories I have about the CCM:
I decided that the CCM is kind of like being in the hunger games. We are separated into districts (I'm in district 16), are put into a huge arena with a giant wall around it as we battle for our lives against the Spanish language. We have a spiritual force field around the CCM to keep out the bad guys and to keep us in and I am the leader of the career pack. It rains every day at the same time so its kind of like a clock. Whats crazy is that we hear cannons going off in the city every day- our teacher said is was for airplanes or something? But we know that the real reason is because the cannon goes off every time a missionary dies.
Accomplishments of the week:
-Memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 4 in Spanish. It was 7 long verses and really hard but I did it! Hopefully it will come in handy haha.
-Also sometimes in class we play a game where we walk around the CCM and see how many people we can talk to in Spanish and my companion and I won both times because we got extra points for talking to the natives and construction workers.
-I also ate cactus in the cafeteria this week so that was cool.
-I killed 3 spiders in our room so we were really roughing it this week.
-Memorized "I am a Child of God" in Spanish- I actually really like singing in Spanish. There's something magical about not knowing what you're saying. Haha but I actually really do love it though we sound so good when we all sing together.
I also said the opening prayer in sacrament meeting in Spanish!
For the lesson we gave to Jose last night, we had to pretend that we just met him walking in a park. We had a 20 minute lesson planned but only had 10 minutes to give it and it was really cool because that was the first time that we were able to just sit and talk to him without looking at our notes once. We were able to completely talk about the things we felt we should and were able to answer the questions he had. It was amazing. We taught him how to pray and gave him a Book of Mormon and after we finished and were walking away he said hermanas wait, this is Hermano Sainz talking now and I just want to tell you guys how proud I am of you and how much you have improved since your first lesson with Jorge. I really felt the Spirit just now when you were teaching and know that you guys are going to do some amazing things on your mission. I'm so glad that he stopped us and said that because it was just what I needed to hear because earlier that day was when we had tried to do our only Spanish day and had failed miserably. I keep forgetting that I've only been here for 2 weeks because I keep expecting myself to know Spanish by now. It's just hard not being able to express yourself the way you want to because your vocabulary is limited to pretty much what you've learned from preach my gospel. But I know that if I keep working hard it will come!
I love and miss you so much!
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I cant believe only a week has gone by. So the campus here is so beautiful. Its so green and huge and we are surrounded by millions of tiny colorful houses all over the mountainside. I took some pictures today so you get to see. Hermana Paulsen (my companion) and I live in casa 7 and its purple. The houses are colored like a rainbow all up and down the streets its pretty cool. Everyone here is super nice and they say ¨´Hola´ everytime you walk by. At first this kind of caught me off guard and I'd end up saying some sort of mix of hello and hola back like hella or holla so that was nice. But Im used to it now haha. The elders are pretty much forced to be really polite to us here so I feel like I don't have to do anything- they open doors for us, set up our desks, let us cut them in line in the cafeteria,- so ive learned being an hermana is a good thing. The food is so good here by the way. Its kind of a bad thing. And they have mangoes and a Nutella station at almost every meal so I cant really ask for anything else.
Our second day here we had to teach an investigator a 20 minute lesson in Spanish. We were kind of freaking out. We spent all day planning out our lesson. It was hard because we were pretty much writing a one sided script where we had no idea what the other person was going to say and we were talking in a language we definitely didn't know. It was probably the most nerve wracking thing Ive ever done. We taught our lesson at like 8 at night and the investigators name was Jorge. It was a really rough start because we couldnt stop laughing because we couldn't even remember how to say our names in Spanish. Then we sat down and the only thing I remembered how to say was do you have a dog. Yup. so that's how our conversation started haha. Eventually we got ourselves together and taught him a lesson on how we can pray to our heavenly father to receive personal revelation. We taught him how to pray and got him to say the closing prayer. It was so cool! We've had 3 lessons with him since then and luckily they keep getting better. Every time we teach though all I can think about is how much I just want to speak from my heart and tell him everything I know but Im limited to this teeny tiny vocabulary of Spanish I know and whats written down on the paper in front of me. Our first night here Hermana Paulsen and I thought it would be cool if we picked 5 random words from the dictionary each day to learn in Spanish. But then I calculated how long it would take us to learn all of them and it would be like at least 25 years so we abandoned that plan. They told us that we need 600 hours of studying to be functional in the Spanish language. We only have 100 total hours scheduled for us to study spanish and its up to us to find the rest of the 500. Pray to help me learn fast because its all I want to do.
I feel like everything I think about here is how can we help Jorge *the investigator* or what can we teach Jorge today. Its really cool because learning Spanish is really just a side effect of teaching him the lessons we prepare each day. Yesterday we had a lesson with him and we ended up teaching for 30 minutes. We didn't want to stop because we had so much we wanted to say! I messed up a little though when I was talking about the atonement and said That Christ suffered for all of our pescados, instead of saying pecados. So I said Christ suffered for all or our fish instead of sins haha.
There is so much I want to say but they only let us on the computer for so much time. Its only been a week and I feel like a new person. The spirit here is so strong and I feel it every day. Its amazing how much you learn and feel when you are willing to sacrifice. This is the hardest but best thing Ive ever done.. I can tell already. I love and miss you so much and wish I could say so much more but just know that I love it here and la iglesia es verdad!!